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Statement by Chinese Delegate Ms. Li Xiaomei in the General Debate at the 3rd Session of the Working Group on Ageing


Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as chairman of this working group. I am confident that under your leadership, this session of the working group will end its work with success.

Today, ageing is a serious challenge for the international community. How to deal with ageing in a positive and effective way is a subject of major importance that the international community faces. Since its establishment last year, the GA Working Group on Ageing has held useful discussions on how to deal with ageing and guarantee the rights and interests of the older persons. The Chinese delegation appreciates these efforts, and wishes to express its views and expectations on the future work of the Working Group.

Firstly, the rights and welfare of the older persons should be guaranteed. Having made important contributions to the economic and social development, the older generation should enjoy fully the fruits of social development after they become old. All countries should address appropriately the problems of the older persons such as poverty and disease, and eliminate discrimination against and abuse of the older persons.

Secondly, the issue of ageing should be viewed not only from the perspective of human rights, but also from the perspective of development. Development is the basis for addressing the issue of ageing. Only when there is stable and fairly rapid economic and social development can there be material guarantees for improvement of the welfare of the older persons. The international community must take into full account the specific conditions of various countries when dealing with ageing, and should avoid imposing a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The needs and concerns of the developing countries should be taken into full consideration, and the international community should provide necessary financial and technical support to the developing countries.

Thirdly, the utility of existing international framework on the issue of ageing should be fully considered. The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing has provided the guidelines and a program of action for all countries in dealing with the issue of ageing. The international community should attach importance to the second round of review and assessment of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, and continue to improve the implementation based on the results of the assessments.

As a developing country with a huge population, China too is undergoing a rapid transformation in its demographic structure and ranks among the first in the world in terms of the total population of the older persons and its rate of increase. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the process of ageing in China and the special needs of the older persons, and has taken series of measures to deal with ageing so as to guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of the older persons. Over the last year, China has adopted the 12th 5-year Plan on the Welfare of the Older Persons, and the 12th 5-Year Guidelines on Social Security. Besides, China is revising the Law on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Older Persons. These measures incorporated the welfare of the older persons into the overall plan of national economic and social development, set in motion the implementation of various social security policies to deal with ageing, and will further improve existing legal and regulatory systems on the safeguards of the rights and interests of the older persons.

The Chinese Delegation looks forward to a fruitful discussion in this session, with a view to effectively addressing the international ageing issue.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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